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IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY

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A NEEDLESS THOUGHT EXPERIMENT

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY: Duke would be the Coastal Division winner, and the Atlantic would be a tie between Clemson, Florida State, and Syracuse, even though NC State has a better record than all of them.

Baylor would split the Big 12 title again...with Oklahoma State. Penn State would be the default Big Ten champion due to nobody in the West finishing with a conference win. The SEC is a complete disaster, with a Florida-Georgia division split in the East and Ole Miss and LSU sharing the West crown. Stanford wins the Pac-12 North and the South gets split between UCLA and USC.

And Notre Dame, of course, finishes with an undefeated season. (Brian Kelly still gets fired.)

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY: I guess we go back to voting for a national champion? It's either that or a split title between the 17 teams that are 4-0. This has the advantage of letting us point at Virginia Tech and say "shit you couldn't even win a title in that year where we split it seventeen ways," so let's do that.

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY: Well, I guess we could still vote for the Heisman. Trevone Boykin's probably a finalist in this four game season, as is Leonard Fournette. Let's throw Carl Nassib in there, too. Baker Mayfield winds up winning, though, and we all take comfort in remembering that the Heisman is super dumb, even in this abbreviated season.

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY: Arkansas fans immediately start putting together a legal memo explaining why they only have to pay a prorated portion of Bret Bielema's salary. Al Golden orders team rings that say "PERFECTION" in diamonds on them; he will later give these out to trick or treaters during a particularly sad and drunken night. Baylor fans occupy the city of Indianapolis, demanding answers for why the Bears were left out of the Playoff despite being undefeated. When they're told that the Playoff never happened because the season just abruptly ended in late September, they set the city on fire and leave.

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY: The 17-way split title won't really satisfy things. Ohio State will argue they should hold the title outright because they were the reigning champs and number 1 when the 2015 season ended. Texas A&M will try to buy the championship shares held by Utah and Memphis, then argue that they're the real winner. Florida and Georgia will consider organizing a special exhibition game to determine whether the Gators or Dawgs have a better claim to the tile, then call it off when they realize Florida-Georgia makes everyone deeply unhappy no matter what. Notre Dame acknowledges their co-championship, but only barely, and mostly to point out that Ara Parseghian would have played a full schedule no matter what.

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY: We'd all be super mad at first, but then we'd figure out something to do with our free Saturday time. Maybe we binge-watch The Americans? I've heard that's good.

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY: Sure, several teams will say it's unfair that they're shut out of the championship. They'll ask why Iowa gets in on the strength of beating Iowa State, North Texas, Pitt, and an FCS team while, say, Florida State isn't included merely because they had a bye week early. But if the season ended today, Iowa would just be better than FSU, because 4-0 is better than 3-0. This isn't bias. It's math.

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY: And, really, who needs a bye week this early? It's like stopping to pee 15 minutes after you got on the highway. Plan better.

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY: Some columnist will argue that a four game schedule is really all we need. If you can't go 4-0, why do you deserve to be in a playoff anyways? I mean, Indiana did it. Shouldn't we demand that a championship team be at least as good as Indiana?

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY: By definition, there are no bowl games, so bowl sponsors get all that money back. It was already in the marketing budget, though, and if you don't use it this year, you won't get it next year. Now we're getting a whole bunch of sponsored American Ninja Warrior specials.

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY: The unanswered question: why did the season end on a Tuesday? Wouldn't it make sense to have the last day be one on which games were actually played?

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY: Nice! Robert Nkemdiche won the Buffalo Wild Wings American Ninja Warrior.

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY: Purdue's the worst team in the Big Ten. Kansas is in the Big 12 basement. Virginia finishes last in the Coastal. Vanderbilt and Arkansas bring up the rear in the SEC divisions. So, in some sense, it's really not all that different from how you saw a full season playing out.

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY: Ok, maybe not that Arkansas part.